2019 Community Foundation of Teton Valley Board & Staff
Back Row: Brian Thysell, Ben Reese, Gene Marcowka, Justin Bowersock, John Finley, Delwyn Jensen
Front Row: Tina Culman, Nan Pugh, Astrid Warden, Claire Vitucci, Nancy Siverd, Megan Allen, Tim Adams
Not Pictured: Herb Heimerl, Sue Mason, Susan Rose, LeAnn Talbot

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Community Foundation?

Community foundations are public, nonprofit foundations established to promote and facilitate philanthropy in a geographic area.

What is the Community Foundation of Teton Valley?

The Community Foundation of Teton Valley works to elevate lives through the power of generosity by championing the nonprofit sector, empowering donors, promoting a culture of giving, and serving as a catalyst in addressing critical community needs.

What does the Community Foundation of Teton Valley do for donors?

The Community Foundation makes philanthropy easier for donors by providing maximum flexibility and services. The Community Foundation provides accountability for charitable gifts, in-depth nonprofit information, recognition, anonymity, tax benefits and endowment management. It offers a wide range of donor services, vehicles and funds to suit a donor’s needs.

What does the Community Foundation of Teton Valley do for local nonprofits?

The Community Foundation assists nonprofits through grant programs, by offering nonprofit management expertise and workshops focused on organizational excellence, hosting Teton Valley’s premiere nonprofit fundraising event, the Tin Cup Challenge, and serving as a nonprofit’s connection to Teton Valley donors.

Why do we need the Community Foundation of Teton Valley ?

  • To provide ease of giving to the donor community;
  • To provide expertise in charitable giving to the community at large;
  • To attract new donor financial support into the community, which will then be disbursed to nonprofit organizations for unmet financial needs;
  • To offer a local competitive granting source;
  • To enable donors to support the field(s) in which they have an interest, rather than selecting a specific charity;
  • To provide permanence and sustainability to the philanthropic field;
  • To entice organizations to collaborate and communicate by offering venues for networking;
  • To educate by providing seminars, workshops, one-on-one consultation, and reference materials for use by the entire community relating to nonprofit management and operations;
  • To increase the capacity of local organizations to achieve their missions in the most cost-effective manner possible.

How is the Community Foundation of Teton Valley funded?

The Community Foundation is funded through interest and investment income from Donor Advised Funds, administrative fees charged through endowment funds and the Tin Cup Challenge.

Does the Community Foundation of Teton Valley compete with area nonprofits?

No. By making charitable giving easy, the Community Foundation brings more money to nonprofits, enhancing their sustainability and effectiveness. The Community Foundation also promotes annual formalized giving to nonprofits through the Tin Cup Challenge.

Why create a fund at the Community Foundation of Teton Valley?

Individuals and organizations create funds at the Community Foundation for a variety of reasons:

  • To make their philanthropy more strategic;
  • To be part of a community of fellow fundholders seeking to strengthen the Teton Valley community;
  • To provide funds in perpetuity to a cause or area of interest;
  • To use the Community Foundation’s excellent philanthropic services to learn more about causes of importance to them;
  • To administer their philanthropy in an informed and efficient way.

Why should I partner with the Community Foundation of Teton Valley instead of setting up a private foundation?

The Community Foundation is a public charity, and therefore donors receive maximum tax benefits when they make a contribution, whereas gifts made to a private foundation are more limited. Private foundations are exposed to excise taxes and various restrictions as to what can and cannot be held in their investment pool. With a fund at the Community Foundation, donors have no meeting or reporting requirements. Donors to the Community Foundation also become part of a “community of givers” who strengthen the Teton Valley community. Click here for further comparison.

What are the differences between a charitable fund at a financial services firm and a fund at the Community Foundation of Teton Valley ?

Some major financial institutions have created separate nonprofit public foundations and are now offering Donor Advised funds. The commercial Donor Advised funds offer the same tax deductibility as a fund at the Community Foundation, and most have an online grant system, but this is where the similarities end.

Donor Advised funds at the Community Foundation are relationship and service-based. Commercial funds are transaction-based. The Community Foundation can accept the full range of gift opportunities, including bequests, real estate and non-marketable securities. Commercial funds tend to be limited to cash and publicly traded securities.

Donors to the Community Foundation become part of a “community of givers.” Commercial funds are not community based. Fees charged by the Community Foundation are recycled back into the community to encourage more philanthropy and community-building. Fees charged by commercial funds benefit the financial institution.

Last but not least, the Community Foundation offers local expertise. Staff has an in-depth understanding of the community’s challenges and the groups and individuals addressing them. We monitor community issues, opportunities and resources; our knowledge of the community enables us to make a difference by funding high-impact initiatives addressing a broad range of local needs; and our expertise helps donors learn more about local issues in order to make their giving as effective as possible.

How can I give to the Community Foundation of Teton Valley ?

Many donors establish and contribute to personal Donor Advised Funds. Donors may then make recommendations for grant distribution to nonprofits over time as they wish. Donors can also contribute through giving circles, trusts, endowments and scholarships. The Tin Cup Challenge allows donors to support many nonprofits at one time by contributing to the Challenger Fund or designating the specific participating organizations they wish to support. To make a direct gift to the Community Foundation and join us in our mission to elevate lives through the power of generosity, GIVE NOW!

Can I only recommend grants to organizations in the community?

Fundholders  often give outside the Teton Valley community. Although the Community Foundation’s expertise is identifying the needs of Teton County, Idaho and Alta, Wyoming, we encourage donors to make grants to the causes that are most important to the donor, no matter where the nonprofits are located.